After yesterday’s post on reconfiguring Warhammer 3 for playing high fantasy, I thought about configuring it for Compromise and Conceit, and I realized not much would have to change, because there are many things in the Warhammer milieu that suit my Compromise and Conceit world. The encroaching chaos, the concepts of corruption and the European setting are very familiar to my campaign; and the way magic works in Warhammer 3, where mages can use their powers almost continually and have only a small selection to play with, is also quite familiar. I also didn’t use classes per se in my campaign, instead going on a skill-based system; a good alternative to not using classes is the career structure of Warhammer, with regular changes possible to create a varied and interesting set of characters.
So really, all I would need to do is adopt most of the Warhammer 3 rules, adjust the spell lists to suit the Orders of 18th Century Europe, and import a few new spells. So having thought about this, here are some basic ideas for how to make Warhammer 3 work for Compromise and Conceit.
Basic Rule Adjustments: Character Development
The main change to existing character classes is to change the development rules for stances. All PCs start the game with a single slot of their choice on the stance meter (i.e. one conservative or one reckless). They can only add the others through advancement. Everything else at character creation is the same.
For advancement, I would adjust the advancement rules to allow each character class 7 open career advances, instead of 6. This allows them to buy an extra stance, and in their second career to advance a character’s prime attribute to 7 instead of the current limit of 6. I think this makes for more heroic characters at higher levels, which is quite important for Compromise and Conceit. These are the only rules I can think of for character development.
New Talents, Actions, Magic
Obviously there would be general sets of actions and talents to suit the infernal world. There would also be a new skill, Infernalism, which would be specific to the world, and a set of Summoning/Invoking actions which would match it. These would be limited, and would involve working with Infernal essence or summoning demons. I would make these actions rather than spells, so there is no equivalent to favour or magic points in the world.
I don’t know what the list of advanced careers is for Warhammer 3 (I hope to find out soon) but in the meantime I would use all the basic classes, but drop commoner and gambler, and probably rat catcher. The new classes specific to the campaign would be:
- Infernalist (a manipulator of infernal essences and, later, conjuror of demons)
- Investigator (particularly important when the campaign is set in the 19th century)
- Inquisitor (an interrogator for the church, possibly quite similar to an investigator)
- Clergyman (a non-spell-using priest, I think)
- Grenadier (a kind of mixture of military engineer and soldier)
- Engineer (for the non-magical steampunk element)
- Scientist (for the non-magical steampunk element)
Amongst the advanced classes, I would include:
- Demonologist (this being essentially stage 2 of an Infernalist’s path)
- Technomancer (a semi-magical version of an engineer, possibly using infernalism)
- Remaker (someone who combines animals and machines, to make the Remade)
I think for some of the basic classes (e.g. nobleman, clergyman) some kind of additional wealth or other benefit would be needed to distinguish them from priests and wizards. Traditionally in my campaigns people choose their PCs, and I would like to keep that option, but no-one would choose a nobleman without a good reason. This means that some of the commoner “best” classes like Wizard and Priest would need to have more limited ranges of skills, or some kind of entry requirements. Alternatively I could relent on this tradition and allow random selection of characters.
Possibly there could be some amusing French character classes: Jacobin and Musketeer spring to mind…
Essentially the game then proceeds as Compromise and Conceit with Warhammer rules. Worth a try, I think!